Always Running: Candidate Emergence among Women of Color over Time

The number of women seeking congressional office in the United States has dramatically increased since 1980. Previous research on women candidates explores why women run, but new research on candidate emergence shows that women face different challenges and advantages based on their race and ethnicity. We investigate these differences by disaggregating data on women’s candidate emergence by race and ethnicity to examine how these theories work when explicitly considering race and ethnicity. We focus our examination on women running in House primaries between 1980 and 2012. We argue that theories of candidate emergence are conditional to the racial and/or ethnic identification of the candidate. We employ a cross-sectional time series analysis with the intuition that examining congressional elections over time will allow us to make general comments about the participation of women in congressional elections. We find that many of the conditions thought necessary for women’s emergence as candidates are contextual and temporally specific. Moreover, conditions that encourage women to run do not necessarily apply to women of color.

Direct-Democracy Rules: The Effect of Direct Democracy on State Immigration Legislation

We have limited knowledge of the extent to which state rules in policymaking influence state legislators to propose and enact immigration legislation. Current scholarship finds that economics, politics, and demography affect the timing and passage of state immigration policy, yet there is limited knowledge of the effect of state rules on this policy area. This article addresses the weaknesses in extant research and examines the effect that direct-democracy mechanisms (DDMs) have on the proposal and enactment of immigration legislation. I hypothesize that states with DDMs pass more immigration legislation in the legislature than states without them. After a discussion of my theory, variables, method, and results, I offer thoughts about the implications of this work for the 2016 elections and beyond.

Majority rule vs. minority rights: immigrant representation despite public opposition on the 1986 immigration reform and control act

What explains legislators’ behavior when they are uncertain whether they will be rewarded or punished at re-election? Typically, politicians are incentivized to deliver policies preferred by the majority. Less well understood is what happens when legislators face decisions on issues on which their traditional supporters disagree. Owing to the unavailability of public opinion data for congressional districts, however, studies evaluating competing theories of representation on such issues are scarce. We examine this question by evaluating leading theories of representation on the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), a complex, historically significant, highly salient, and controversial bill that gave citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants – precisely the type of group that past research suggests should struggle to obtain representation. We employ recent advances in estimating public opinion using multilevel regression and post-stratification to estimate district-level public opinion on IRCA. Contrary to traditional conceptions of subconstituency politics, the results suggest that, under at least some circumstances, traditionally marginalized groups are able to make important policy advances in the face of negative opinion, particularly when they are able to build coalitions that cross party lines and divide their opposition.

Neoliberalism Confronts Latinos Neoliberalism confronts Latinos: Paradigmatic shifts in immigration practices

How has the proliferation of neoliberal ideas altered undocumented immigration policy? I argue three neoliberal principles – privatization, efficiency, and personal responsibility- have impacted the implementation of American immigration policy, increasing the detention, abuse, and death of undocumented migrants. This change disproportionately affects Latinos, as they are more likely to either know an undocumented person or be one themselves. Using a historical-structural approach, this work problematizes the inevitability of privatization, discusses the influence of efficiency on the record number of deportations, and criticizes the principle of personal responsibility using the deaths of migrants at the border and in detention. This work is of special importance for Latinos as they disproportionately bear repression, abuse, and death at the hands of a neoliberal immigration system.